View Full Version : I got my class, now what?
01-23-2004, 06:22 AM
I was just approved to teach a three credit history elective, "Special topics in history: history and culture of the martial arts", for the college where I teach part-time. The course will run for the first time next fall. I am now collecting resources for the course and designing my readings, etc. I have one or two books in mind as a primary text that I will supplement with reserve readings. I thought I'd put out a general query/request for your sources suggestions, as well.
My syllabus will be available on-line sometime over the summer if anyone wants to take a look at it and comment on it (I'll provide the link then).
I am very excited about this project and I hope that many students will find it useful, too. Thanks in advance for your comments,
01-23-2004, 10:11 AM
Congratulations, sounds shweet!
Are you concentrating on a certain area of the world, a la Asian, or New World, or African martial arts history?
There's lots of good stuff out there, good luck!
01-24-2004, 01:44 PM
A shameless commercial plug --
"Martial Arts in the Modern World," edited by Green and Svinth (Greenwood, 2003). http://ejmas.com/jalt/jaltart_mamw_1203.html
In reserve, I'd suggest keeping at least one copy of "Martial Arts of the World: An Encyclopedia" ed. by Thomas A. Green (ABC-CLIO, 2001). It's an expensive 2-volume set, but it was listed as an Outstanding Reference Source 2002 by RUSA/ALA and Best of Reference 2002 by the New York Public Libraries. The table of contents is listed here: http://www.isbn.nu/toc/1576071502 .
As for what is available at EJMAS, don't forget to take a look through the back issues that don't pop up instantly via Google, and at the Kronos bibliographies and Online Resources.
Finally, if anybody is interested in reading about judo in the Japanese communities of the Pacific Northwest before WWII, I know where they can get a book on the subject. :)
Originally posted by Geoff
I was just approved to teach a three credit history elective, "Special topics in history: history and culture of the martial arts"
Congratulations. That sounds like fun.
I second Joe's recommendation of the encyclopedia, it's the cutting edge, excellent.
As to recommendations, I'd look for anything MA-related by Bodiford, Friday, Hurst, Amdur, Skoss, Goldsbury, Conlan, Bolitho, Pranin, and/or Draeger (a little dated, but he laid the groundwork for that very conclusion). There's a lot of pertinent stuff in the Journal of Japanese Studies and the Japanese Journal of Religious Studies. Looking forward to seeing your syllabus. Good luck.
01-24-2004, 03:10 PM
Thanks for the suggestions. Keep them coming. I have had the school library purchase the encyclopedia - definatley a great resource. Joe, I have requested an exam copy of your book from the publisher, I can't wait to get it. I plan on relying heavily on EJMAS resources, particularly for access to primary documents. Don, I will check those journals, too, as I haven't read them regularly.
01-24-2004, 03:50 PM
If you're interested in historiography (e.g., how the knowledge has evolved over time), then consider having the folks compare and contrast the following:
* Harrison's "Fighting Arts of Japan"
* Draeger and Smith's "Comprehensive Asian Fighting Arts"
* Green and Svinth, "Martial Arts in the Modern World"
The titles alone give you an idea of the changing images -- As late as the 1950s, it was still the fighting arts of Japan. By the late 1960s, it had become the Asian fighting arts. Today, it's martial arts of the world.
BTW, the encyclopedia by Corcoran and Farkas is also worth including in Course Reserve. IMO, you can't trust the histories the various contributors provide too far, but that's the point -- comparing and contrasting this material should give the reader/student insight into the folkloric aspects of the martial arts as taught in the USA during the 1970s and 1980s. Also, Corcoran's discussion of martial arts in the movies is still the best available.
Forgot JAMA-Journal of Asian Martial Arts. See their web site for a list of articles. You'll find many of the folk I recommended above there.
01-25-2004, 04:23 PM
Something you need to consider is how you are defining the term, "Martial Art." Is a punch just a punch, and a kick just a kick? If so, then why isn't Parking Lot Ryu included?
Along the way, think about the social uses of the martial arts -- what is it that these authors were trying to accomplish by writing their books or articles, and that the practitioners get out of doing their art.
This was the thinking behind the definitions you see at http://ejmas.com/svinth1.htm , the related essay on why groups use martial arts that appears in Tom Green's encyclopedia, and the glossary of terms that appears at the back of both my judo book and "MA in the Modern World."
I was just approved to teach a three credit history elective, "Special topics in history: history and culture of the martial arts", for the college where I teach part-time. The course will run for the first time next fall. I am now collecting resources for the course and designing my readings, etc. I have one or two books in mind as a primary text that I will supplement with reserve readings.
Are you up for posting your syllabus?
05-06-2006, 06:05 PM
But this sounds like it will be a fun and interesting class.
05-06-2006, 06:41 PM
For online karate research, see Charles Goodin's site, http://museum.hikari.us .
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